AFC Ann Arbor ended their last game of the season against Grand Rapids FC with a close 1-2 loss. Sweigard netted the first goal in the hot and humid Houseman Field in the 37th minute, but GRFC bounced back with a goal from Longoria and other from Sagara in the 41st and 57th minute.
AFCAA would start the match strong with a couple quick shots from Knaggs. In the 6th minute, Knaggs picked up possession on a ball deflected from the referee and fired a shot which was saved by the keeper. Knaggs then would attempt a header from a corner taken by Mami Yamaguchi in the 14th minute but it hit the post and went wide. GRFC responded by two long range shots from Segara in the 18th and 22nd minutes but Sweier saved well the first shot and the second went high.
The quick five-minute ping pong game of scoring took place around 40-minute mark. The Mighty Oak started off in the 37th minute with Yamaguchi’s through to Sweigard and Sweigard’s well-taken shot after dribbling past the keeper. The lead didn’t last too long, however, as Kendra Longoria, in the 41st minute, put a solid right foot contact to a goal following a great dribble on the right side. AFCAA tried to find a second during the stoppage time but couldn’t and we entered the second half level 1-1.
AFCAA didn’t take too much time to grab the first opportunity of the second half. In the 47nd minute, Yamaguchi again sent a clean pass down to the left finding Sweigard, who then found a one-on-one chance but the shot went into the keeper’s waiting arms. Sweigard was an inch away from the goal in the 52nd minute, as Jenna Smith cleverly passed the keeper and sent a high ball in an acute angle, but the header from Sweigard deflected off the defender and went away from goal.
Unfortunately, it was not The Mighty Oak who found the second. Riko Sagara kept the ball well inside the penalty box and scored with a right foot in the 57th minute. The Mighty Oak shifted up for attack but failed to grab a close chance. Efforts from Yamaguchi, Smith, and Vitella were either went wide or saved. Defensively, the team improved after conceding the second, pressing hard, and as a unit they succeeded on not letting GRFC grab the third.
It was a learning season for the UWS newcomer in the league, but two important league victories and reaching semis in the Michigan Milk Cup bring about hope and confidence for next season. The Mighty Oak will prepare strong in the off season and will start off the second season with positive energy.